Chairman wants to take fashion retailer back into private ownership
Monsoon has announced it is in talks with its chairman Peter Simon over a possible offer for the 24.6 per cent of its shares not already owned by his family. Simon tried to raise his family's shareholding to 92.5 per cent in 2003 by offering 140p a share, but the attempt failed.

City analysts believe that investors will not allow him to acquire the shares at anything like that price. This morning Monsoon shares jumped 8.33 per cent to 390p.

Seymour Pierce analyst Richard Ratner believes Simon has never been happy with running a public company and would feel much more comfortable if Monsoon was brought back into private ownership.

He said: 'Peter Simon is a fantastic retailer with a fantastic business but he is certainly not suited to the public arena. Unfortunately he could have probably bought the balance for 160p to 170p two years ago.'

Monsoon was floated by Simon in 1998, netting his family£85 million.

The retailer said the discussions were in an early stage and could not confirm whether any offer will be forthcoming from Simon.